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Steven Tyler Pretends He Remembers the ’80s on ‘American Idol’

Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Wednesday was ’80s night on ‘American Idol,’ and while a ton of great music came out of that decade, we heard very little of it. Let’s check in on judge Steven Tyler to see how much of that period he can even recall.

Star-making producer Jimmy Iovine was joined by singer Gwen Stefani and her No Doubt bandmate (and ex-boyfriend, but that’s a story for a different site) Tony Kanal for mentoring duties. We’re starting to think there isn’t anyone in the music business who doesn’t owe Jimmy a favor.

Unfortunately, the trio steered Elise Testone — who did that awesome version of ‘Whole Lotta Love’ last week — terribly wrong when they advised her to choose Foreigner‘s ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’ instead of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’

“I’m not sure if that song was the right song for you tonight, baby. But I love your voice,” Steven told her after she sang. “You look beautiful tonight,” said J. Lo, which as we all know means “ow, my ears.”

On the other hand, Phillip Phillips did another kickass performance. Yeah, yeah, we know many of you (including some of the staffers here at UCR) think he’s a Dave Matthews clone, but dude can take even a tired old song like Genesis‘ ‘That’s All’ and give it new life, so shut it.

Oh, and he and Elise did a pretty great version of ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,’ so she redeemed herself. (Even if not everyone agrees. Ahem.) And what did Steven have to say when Ryan Seacrest asked him what he thought of the ’80s musical genre?

“The ’80s wasn’t so good for me with music, partially because I wasn’t really all there for it,” he said, surprising exactly no one. “I was other places at the time.”

See you Thursday night for the elimination show.

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